LITTLE ROCK — The House voted 84-1 Monday to approve and send to the governor a bill to require a doctor to try to save the life of a baby that is born alive during an abortion.

Senate Bill 148 by Sen. Gary Stubblefield, R-Branch, which passed previously in the Senate, would require that if an abortion results in a live birth, the doctor performing the procedure must notify the mother, provide immediate medical care to the child and call 911 if the birth does not occur in a hospital.

Stubblefield said Saturday he was uncertain what was holding up the bill.

“It’s sitting on (the governor’s) desk,” said Stubblefield. “I don’t understand. I know there is no constitutional issues with it because 27 other states passed the same bill. Not only that, we have a federal law that does basically the same thing, but they don’t police it very well.”

Violating the measure would be a Class D felony punishable by up to six years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

In other matters last week involving local legislators

The Senate voted 23-4 to approve a bill that would exempt certain records of the Arkansas State Police from the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.

Senate Bill 131 by Stubblefield, would exempt “records or other information that upon disclosure could reasonably be expected to be detrimental to the public safety.”

The bill goes to the House.

Also, the House Education Committee on Thursday advanced a bill that would allow public schools to keep information about their security personnel secret.

Senate Bill 12 by Stubblefield, would create an exemption from the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act for school records “that upon disclosure could reasonably be expected to be detrimental to the public safety” and records “relating to the number of licensed security officers, school resource officers, or other security personnel, as well as any personal information about those individuals.”

The bill, which previously passed in the Senate, goes to the House.

Stubblefield said the bill was written with the concealed carry teachers in schools like Clarksville.

“This ain’t 1967. In 1967 we left our guns in our gun racks and our doors open,” said Stubblefield. “People weren’t going into schools to shoot kids and kill teachers. It’s a different world. I don’t want those teachers with a concealed weapon who dedicated their lives to teach kids then put their lives in harm’s way by carrying a weapon.

“I don’t want those teachers on the front of the paper.”

Expected to be discussed this week is Stubblefield’s SB 333 which would ban food and drink products made with marijuana.

Supporters say the bill would prevent children from mistakenly consuming marijuana in products like candy, while opponents say banning marijuana in both smoking — SB 357 by Sen. Jason Rapert, R-Bigelow, would ban the smoking of marijuana anywhere in the state — and edible forms would leave patients with few ways to consume the drug.


The Booneville Democrat contributed information in this report.